Thursday, May 18, 2017

Round Eye – Monstervision

Round Eye – Monstervision 

Experimental freak punk with jazz, R&B and an assortment of other genres whipped into one, are what Round Eye are being called. Some journalists are putting them beyond classification while others find them falling not far from the punk tree, if that. The primary genres always come attached with the hard to define sub genres. Although it might be hard to pin point, the music can deserve to be sub categorized for better or worse. That could be where Round Eye stand, but they’re getting places and a different reaction awaits everywhere they play. Monstervision is the CD that brings them out to play again, and does it with a vengeance but also a charm. They break out the laughs in-between these songs in which only a daredevil would attempt in the realms of any punk environment to speak of. The addition of recorded messages from John Bloom who plays one Joe Bob Briggs is not only bizarre, but on the other hand very bold in a good way. It dampens some of the more adult subject matter and puts a welcome spin on the way albums are made. He’s just the right amount of corniness for the sharper cutting songs to properly balance their aggression as they shout to the world from Shanghai to global stages. There is a lot to hash over on Monstervision, as the sights are practically endless, but also obviously current.

Briggs takes the microphone for the controversial opener that really doesn’t get as harsh as it insinuates. He comes in with the Chinese Take-Out Edition of Monstervision to dine on the general subjects whined about today, such as politicians and Chinese culture in America and around the world. This is where it begins and “Commie Blues” establishes game with no hesitation and even though it’s a dark song you know where it’s at and find out where it’s going as the visions come out even more on “Billy” with a lot of mystery and imagination behind it. This is not your mother’s punk, it’s more in the psychobilly vein. And it works or it doesn’t, depending on your viewpoint.

There are a few places where I lost sight, but that’s because they have their own lives and can’t mingle with the others. There is not one song that misses its point, but some hit their targets better than others. With “Pink House” a close call for the cream of the crop, with “Hey Dudes” and “Curami” holding just as much attention on the bench. But knowing how singles go, they could be just as off the bench as they are on. It’s a question for their label, Sudden Death, but an observation worth sharing. It all matters whether or not you like longer, deeper cuts or the shorter and sweeter variety or a mix of the two. I find them on the upside. They lead to Briggs reminding that the Drive-In will never die. And the horns go berserk on the homecoming song, “Nest” with the usual creature comforts carried on about in the lyrics, but the vocals never outweigh the horns on this energetic little diamond in the rough. And Briggs takes an exit with some more campy wit, and the closer hits the final homer run with “Crinkle” bombarding the senses with every ounce of emotion Round Eye put into their music. It’s more than a monster, it is a creature you must to hear and forget about explaining. That is why it comes recommended and so does the band, to anyone looking for a colossal punk release.


Terry Smith 

No comments:

Post a Comment